Michael Cohen, who was former President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer, was quick to react to the news that federal agents raided Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan apartment in a search warrant execution.
“Here we go folks!!!” Cohen wrote on Twitter in the moments after The New York Times broke the story about the federal investigation. Cohen is under home confinement following his release from prison.
Three people told The New York Times that federal investigators executed the search warrant Wednesday, April 28, at Giuliani’s Upper East Side apartment. Giuliani was the former New York City mayor who became Trump’s personal lawyer. A criminal investigation has been ongoing into Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine.
Cohen was an attorney for The Trump Organization for more than 11 years, serving as his special counsel from 2007 to 2018 and as Trump’s personal attorney in 2017 and 2018.
Here’s what you need to know:
The FBI Worked to Obtain a Search Warrant for Giuliani’s Phones for Months & Collected His Electronics in the Raid
It was a lengthy process for federal authorities to secure a search warrant for Giuliani’s electronics. Senior political appointees in the Justice Department worked to block a warrant while Trump was president, The New York Times reported. The Justice Department lifted its objection to the search after Merrick B. Garland was confirmed as Biden’s attorney general. It is common practice for the Justice Department to avoid taking aggressive investigative actions within 60 days of an election if the action could have an impact on votes.
The probe has mainly focused on whether Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration on behalf of officials in Ukraine while they were helping him to search for information to discredit Trump’s political rivals, including Biden.
“While the warrant is not an explicit accusation of wrongdoing against Mr. Giuliani, it shows that the investigation has entered an aggressive new phase. To obtain a search warrant, investigators need to persuade a judge they have sufficient reason to believe that a crime was committed and that the search would turn up evidence of the crime,” The New York Times reported.
Giuliani did not immediately comment publicly on the search warrant. About one hour before news broke on the search warrant, he retweeted a post promoting his podcast.
Cohen Asked a Federal Judge to Suspend His Criminal Sentence Last Week & Said His Punishment Should Be Satisfied By Work & Education Credits
Cohen obtained work and education credits in prison, and asked a federal judge to suspend his criminal sentence of home confinement while the question of whether his sentence is satisfied is being considered, CNBC reported April 21, 2021. A source told CNBC that Cohen was expected to meet that week with investigators from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. for the ninth time. Vance’s office is conducting an investigation into Trump and The Trump Organization.
The request is not related to Cohen’s cooperation with the investigation, CNBC reported. That investigation relates to hush-money payments Cohen facilitated for two women in 2016. Cohen alleged to Congress that The Trump Organization manipulated valuations of real estate assets to achieve a financial benefit.
Cohen pleaded guilty to tax evasion, unlawful campaign contributions and making a false statement to Congress. He served slightly less than one year of his three-year prison sentence before he was released to home confinement due to concerns over COVID-19.
“This petition has nothing to do with my ongoing, continuous cooperation with the district attorney’s office, the [New York state] Attorney General’s office or any other investigation in which I’m involved,” Cohen said in a statement to CNBC.